Europe 1 with AFP 1:28 p.m., November 28, 2021

Arrived in Europe in recent days, the new variant of Covid-19 called Omicron should be detected in the coming hours on the territory, said the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran.

For the latter, the emergence of this new variant should not in the short term, strengthen current health measures.

The detection in France of the Omicron variant of the virus that can give Covid-19 is "very probably a matter of hours", said Sunday the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran. "To date, there has not yet been an identification of this type of variant on the national territory, but it is very probably a question of hours", declared the minister at the end of a visit. in a Parisian vaccination center.

"As soon as it circulates in Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, it is likely that there are already cases in circulation" on French territory, he added.

Since it was detected in South Africa during the week, the new Omicron variant has been identified in Europe in the three countries mentioned by Olivier Véran as well as in Germany and the Czech Republic.

No new health restrictions for the moment

To detect the presence of Omicron in France, in addition to screening, "we carry out between 6,000 and 12,000 sequencing per week", assured the Minister of Health.

However, the emergence of the new variant should not lead to a further strengthening of the "short or medium term" sanitary restrictions.

"At the time I am speaking to you, whether or not there are one or two or ten cases of people infected with this variant in circulation in Europe, or even in France, does not impact the profile of the epidemic wave that We know it. It is a wave which is already linked to a very contagious variant, the Delta variant ", argued the Minister.

Nearly 7 million beneficiaries of a booster dose

Asked about the effectiveness of current vaccines against Omicron, Olivier Véran judged that it was "too early" to comment.

The minister also took advantage of his visit to the vaccination center of the town hall of the 18th arrondissement to indicate that "over the last two days, 700,000" people had been injected with a booster dose.

“Half of them” resorted to city medicine to have it administered.

"I hope that we can arrive or come very close to the 10 million French people who have received their recall by the end of this week," the minister said.

As of Sunday, the number of recipients of a booster dose had reached "about seven million".